LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems! Episode 01


(marker scratching) – Oh hi! It’s Mo Willems, and
it is Monday, March 16. Welcome to Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. I’m here in my studio in Massachusetts. I’m in my home, and I know
a lot of you guys are. And I wasn’t planning on being here, and you probably weren’t
planning on being here either. But now that we’re here, let’s hang out together
for a little while. Let’s create some things. Let’s doodle. I’m gonna show you a
couple things in my studio. Let’s find a way to be isolated and together at the same time. Well, here we are in my studio. And usually on a normal
day I would be on the phone or sitting here thinking. I’d be taking notes, and
these are my notebooks. Now what this is is, the
book is a plant that grew. This is my garden. This is where I plant my ideas. These are where I put my seeds. Also in my notebooks is, look
at that little weird guy, here’s a big, bad wolf. Monster negotiation is what that says. And so that’s January 24, 2020. That’s probably when we were figuring out what’s called a deal, the sort of business that I’m gonna be doing when
later I’m gonna be making TV. So I was on the phone, and
sometimes when I’m on the phone and we have meetings and ideas, sometimes they don’t go so well, and I get a little bit angry, or sometimes I’m just playing around. I’m just doodling. So my philosophy, they’re drawings. When I make drawings,
like, that’s the page, and if you don’t like
the page, drive the bus. But when I make doodles, I don’t know what I’m doing. There’s no right doodle
or any wrong doodle. I’m just sort of having fun and exploring with a pen or a pencil a
different way to make a line. But I thought we would do, before we do anything
else, before I walk around, before we do any drawings is, let’s just take a couple
minutes and let’s just doodle. So you’re gonna need some paper, a crayon, or a pen, or a marker so that we can just sort of do this together. So if you don’t have it yet, press pause, and go get the paper and
the pencil and the stuff. Go get it, right? Okay I’ll stay paused. You all right? Okay, okay, you sure? Oh no, go wash your hands. ♪ Happy birthday to you ♪ ♪ Happy birthday to you ♪ ♪ Happy birthday, your birthday ♪ ♪ But sing it much lower ♪ All right, we got everything? Okay, now, press play? Okay, is that the right one? Press play. I’m gonna get a little piece of paper, and I am going to doodle. Hmm, I wonder if we should have a theme? I don’t know that we need,
but my theme is gonna be creatures with a lot of legs. All right, you ready? All right, let’s do it. Let’s just go. (marker scratching) Color, make orange eyes. This creature has a lot of legs, gray and spotty ones. How’s yours going? Yeah? Mine has a beak, but yours
doesn’t have to have a beak. Maybe yours is standing up, or maybe it has legs
coming out of its head. I don’t know. That would be kind of funny. Mine’s gonna have a blue
cheek and a blue beak. And I don’t have that many
colors, but that’s okay. You maybe have a lot of colors. I think that this creature is
gonna have a lot of stripes. (marker scratching) All right. Let’s see here. Oh wait, I forgot an important thing. I gotta grab a pen and put my name on it so that people know that I did it. All right, this is my doodle of a creature with a lot of legs. And you know, it’s not the
best drawing I’ve ever made. But it was kind of fun just to get lost, you know, just to make a little doodle. I kind of want to see yours, and of course I can’t right now. But at the bottom of the screen there’s going to be an email address, and if you’ve got one, you
can take a picture of it and send it, and then
maybe I’ll get to see it. Oh, I always do this, I
have a library date stamp. Got that. That’s today’s date. Now, I know that I made this doodle today. It’s kind of fun. So I do want to see
your drawings, if I can, or at least some of your drawings. And I also want to hear
some of your questions. Well, since this is the first day that we’re all at home doing
this Lunch Doodle time, I don’t have your questions yet. But I did get some of
the questions sent to me from my fan mail that comes in to my publisher from time to time. So I thought I would just take
a few of them and read them. Here, this is the first one. And it says, dear Mr.
Willems, very formal, so I’m gonna guess this was kind of like a school assignment or something. And then they wrote this question all the way back in February. It says, I like your books. How is Trixie doing? Very well, Trixie is fine and healthy and behind the camera. Do you like cake? I’m gonna be a little
bit of a disappointment to you here, Ireland, I don’t like cake. I don’t. Do you like playing ball? Oh, Ireland, now I’m gonna make you happy! I love playing ball. I usually play a French ball game named (speaks foreign language). It’s a really fun game, and it’s called (speaks foreign language) because that’s the sound
that the balls make when they hit each other,
(speaks foreign language). That was Ireland’s question. That was a good question, I think. All right, I have another
one here from Julie. Dear Mo Williams, Willems, it’s Willems. My name is Julia, and I
am in the sixth grade. Me and my sisters really
like to read your books. Thank you, Julia and your sisters. What is your favorite
character/book you have created? Huh, well that’s a hard question. I usually say my favorite
book is my next one because I want my next one to be even better than my last one. And the next book that I
wrote is not coming out till next fall when hopefully
everybody will be in school, and it is an Unlimited
Squirrels book called “I Want to Sleep Under the Stars”. Also, what books did you like
to read when you were young? Sincerely, Julia, and
a really good drawing of Elephant and Piggie. Well Julia, I loved to read
comic books when I was a kid. Now, when I was a kid, it
was a long, long time ago. And a lot of teachers didn’t think reading Charlie Brown and Snoopy, or
Spider-Man was really reading. But I knew that it was, so I
read Charlie Brown and Snoopy, and Spider-Man, and anything
with a fun character saying something in a word
bubble coming above them. Those were my favorite
things when I was a kid. Now, another question
I get all the time is what was your first book? Well, my first book is a book that I wrote or I drew when I was just a kid. I had a book called “Laser Brain”. I had comic strips that I would draw. But I think what people are asking is what was the first book
you ever had published? It’s a good question. The first book I ever
had published is this, “Ne laissez pas le
pigeon conduire le bus!”. But that’s not where it
first came it in French. It first came out in English. But 17 years ago I wrote this
book, and it was popular. And soon it became a very big book for me. Let’s see. It became this big. It became enormous, right? And this book is my first book, and this is my first published character. Would you guys like to
see some original drawings from this actual book in my studio? I’m gonna take that as a yes, ’cause if not, you guys
are tough, basically. We’re gonna go, here we are in my studio. Look at all these drawers behind me. I don’t know if we’ll get to all of them. Each one of these drawers
is the original art from one of my books. So come on over here. Let’s see. These are Elephant and Piggie. Let’s see. Oh, here it is! Come on over, come over here. See here it says “Don’t Let
the Pigeon Drive the Bus”, and then here, “Don’t Let
the Pigeon Stay Up Late, and Random Pigeon, these
are other pigeon things. So let’s open up “Don’t Let
the Pigeon Drive the Bus”. We ready? Here we go. This is a mix of all the original art from that very first book. Okay, so this was I think
probably my pitch document. Here, 1/31/02, so that
was a long time ago. I was making some drawings
that looks pretty close to what the book is right now, so this must have been pretty
late in the process, copying. Yeah, this looks like how it was. Hey, can I drive the bus? That drawing’s pretty close. Well, before I got to that, look at that. Now, these are super,
super, super rough sketches. 1999, that’s a long time ago. And they are what is called
in the business a dummy. Dummy is not a nice word
unless you’re making books, and then it means kind of a first draft, where you’re trying to find
the rhythm and check off, find what the pages are gonna be like, how they’re gonna look together. Look at that, let me drive the bus! Now, you look at the final book, they’re probably, there
are lots of pigeons here. This time I thought
there would only be one. Let’s see what else is in the drawer. I have not looked in this
drawer in a long, long time. All right, more copy dummies. Oh, these are some colored finals. These have probably been in an exhibit. That’s why they’re in this fancy thing. Oh, here look, like this,
where we talked about let me drive the bus. Let me drive the bus! Look at the difference
between that and that, see. The colors are similar, and
the attitude is similar, but a lot of different ideas about posing and how many pigeons were there, and how to really make it look panicked. That’s just a print. Let’s see what we’ve got next. Oh look, here’s an original drawing. I made this March of 2002. Look at that. See, and I made it with
a really crumbly pencil, really, really crumbly pencil, and that’s why they’re all
these crumbles in there. You see that? I wasn’t so smart. I didn’t think that this
book was gonna be popular, and I didn’t think I
was gonna keep the art for 20 years or more. I just put it on a crumbly book. Oh, here’s probably a early color draft. Oh, just a few pages. Look at this, these are the colors I thought it would be at first. Just some of them are right, but some of them just
aren’t right, too bold. So I would get all these
notes from my editor, what about this, or maybe we
can change that little detail, or the color isn’t right. Let’s see. That’s a letter from an agent. Here again, see the colors are different. This is called an F and
G, folded and gathered. We’ll talk about these
maybe later in the week about what that is. Let’s see. Oh, wow! “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive
the Bus”, my little sketchbook, a early sketchbook version of it. Wow, what have I got? Oh, just little lines pacing it out. And then, I’m organized
but not that organized. You recognize that drawing? Yeah, I changed the bus. I didn’t like that bus. So this probably isn’t a find. Let’s see. Put this back. We’ve already seen that. Oh, here’s an early, that’s a lot from one of
those pitches from there. Some of those drawings
look about the same. See, I used just a typeface
when I was doing the dummies, and then when I came to doing the finals, I wrote it by hand in
that same kind of style. It looks like that. All right, let me put these back. ‘Cause it’s important, even
if I’m not super organized, that I save this stuff in
case I want to see it later. All right. Well, those are my drawers here. There are so many books, and maybe later we’ll
get to see some of those. Maybe we’ll get to see some of the Elephant and Piggie books, or some of the other stuff
that I’ve been doing. I thought now, let’s
draw a pigeon together. While we’re getting the camera set up, you’ve got your paper,
you’ve got your pen. We’ll draw this pigeon together. Let’s see what’s gonna be
the right pen for that. Let’s see. Yeah, that looks good. All right, so we have our drawing paper top to bottom, like this, tall. We’re gonna draw a pigeon. Now, a pigeon is a cartoon. It’s not a doodle, it’s a drawing. So there’s kind of a right way to do it. A cartoon is easy, it’s
just a bunch of shapes put together in the right order, kind of like writing your name is just a bunch of letters put
together in the right order. And every time you’re writing your name, you’re making a cartoon. So let’s start at the top of
our page with a big letter O. Letter O, like in the word Mo. Have you don’t your letter O? Yeah, okay. Draw another letter O inside of that. Now, it looks like a doughnut. Okay, now is the most
important part of the drawing, where the eye goes, ’cause the eye is the window to the soul,
if I’m drawing a character. It’s got a big smile, but really sad eyes, like that, I guess, they’re still sad. So you put it in the
middle, he’s freaked out. You put it down, he’s sad. I’m gonna put mine up, ’cause I’m gonna make him cheeky today. Darken it in. Why am I’m darkening it in? Well, you always look at the darkest part of a drawing first. It’s the most important part. And since the eye is
the most important part, you can see that first. Now, we’re gonna do the letter M, or the letter O, letter M sideways. You have a beak. All right, y’all ready,
two lines going down, I’m gonna make funny sounds, ready? Errup. Errup. Did you say errup, errup? Pretty sure you did. All right, let’s do the
two across for the collar. Ehh, ehh. Now, we’ve come to my favorite shape, because I invented it. It’s the Mo Willem’s patented circ angle. Now, a circ angle is a circle
that halfway through its life decides to become a triangle. Ready, here we go. Oh, I’m a circle, I’m
a circle, I’m a circle. Oh, it’s so good to be a circle. Ah, I think I’d rather be a triangle. Boop. And it kind of looks like an
ice cream cone, which is cool. It fell on the ground, which is sad, which grew a pigeon head, which is weird. All right, I’m gonna
do two more down here. Errup, errup. The pigeon has legs. Okay, do three V’s. Let’s say va va voom. The first one goes sideways, letter V, va, letter V, va, letter V, voom. It’s starting to look like a pigeon. Now, are we done? No. We gotta make sure we write our name so that everybody knows that we drew it. And for me today, I’m gonna stamp it with my old library stamp
that says March 16, 2002. All right. Can I see your pigeons? Let me see your pigeons, hold them up. Let me put on my glasses. Oh yeah, that’s good. Yeah, yours doesn’t look
exactly like mine, does it? No. Maybe your head is a little bigger, or the legs are longer,
but that’s all cool because that means you were drawing in your own personal drawing style. Well, this is it for us doodling
together pretty much today, but I’ll be back. And I hope that you
spend the rest of the day maybe drawing with members of your family, or doodling or whatnot, because
it’s really, really fun. So tell you what I want to do, I’m gonna do a final little doodle and we’ll all hang out and
make a little abstraction. We’ll doodle together, and then, I’ll say goodbye for the day. (marker scratching) (humming) All right. I’m gonna call this doodle
We Are All Connected, because we are. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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